You may remember that Little Monkey was at the vets recently. She had her teeth scaled and polished. One back molar was looking pretty bad and it was impossible to tell how bad without scraping off all the plaque. September is dental month at my vets, with 10% off, so I took advantage of that.
Why are her teeth bad?
She is 11 years old and eats poop. What can I say? She’s a dog!
Since the main expense of the dental procedure is the cost of the anaesthetic and all the drugs, intubations and hospital stay, I took the opportunity to have a few small procedures done at the same time. These niggly little things weren’t enough to warrant an op on their own, but I had been advised to get them seen to if LM ever did have an anaesthetic for something else.
So it was that LM had a few lumps removed at the same time. She had some quite large *lipomas on her chest and groin and *adenomas on her eyelids, one of which was already bothering her and left untreated could start scratching the cornea. Although all these lumps were suspected to be just fatty tissue and therefore benign, the chest lump was a bit suspect as there was some protein in there as well.
The photo on the left shows what her chest looked like the next day, and on the right is a week later.
And this is her groin area. The bruising in the first photo was due to tiny burst capillaries that the vet just couldn’t tie off. As you can see from the second photo a few days later, it cleared up very quickly.
It turns out her teeth are in good shape and strong and the worst tooth wasn’t too bad once the plaque had been scraped off. Her gum was scraped away a bit too, but that should grow back.
The eye lumps were tiny, but as they were inside the lid they caused irritation.
The groin lump was removed very quickly with no problems, but the chest lump turned out to be two lumps; one just under the skin and one under the muscle. This explains the protein found in the sample when aspirated.
She was operated on quite late in the day as the vets had a lot of animals to spay for rescue organisations, so LM was pretty groggy when she came home in the evening. She still ate a small meal and would have eaten much more, but it wasn’t advisable after an anaesthetic. She was fine, if a bit sleepy. The only problem was that because she was confused from the very recent anaesthetic she was looking all over for Mr Spaghetti Legs. She was OK again in a day or two.
She’s had her stitches out now. I took her a day early because after healing extremely well for 10 days, I noticed a large lump in her groin area and it was warm to the touch. (See photo above taken one week after the previous photo.) Also she started licking it, so it must have been bothering her. I was worried it might have become infected, but it turns out that it was a *seroma; inflammation caused by rubbing of the external stitches (that she has now had removed) and the internal stitches, that can take up to 8 weeks to dissolve. Although I had walked her on the lead this whole time, she is still a very active dog and will dash madly round the garden with sheer joie de vivre!
Well they just do! Lipomas are often found in middle-aged to senior dogs of a certain breed (LM is a lab-cross), twice as likely in females and more likely in obese dogs. So LM ticks two out of three boxes here; she’s obviously not obese!
There was one other cause I found, which fits LM to a tee. I read that dogs that race round like a mad thing can damage their tissues in certain areas, like the groin, and then lipomas grow as a sort of healing thing.
Don’t panic if you find some lumps on your dog; just ask your vet to check them out. Most lumps will be a benign lipoma and you won’t have to remove them. I opted for removal of these two on LM, because they were very big and the chest one was suspect. The body can start doing funny things when lumps start growing. I wouldn’t want them possibly to develop into cancer later on. However, LM has a few more smaller ones which we just left.
There is just one more incident to relate and this involves the . . .
Cone of Shame!
Watch the movie “Up!” if you don’t know what I am talking about.
The first night LM was trying to scratch her right eye. It was the only thing bothering her and I think because the stitches were right in the corner of her eye and probably pricking her.
I couldn’t have her scratch the wound open and get it all infected, so I grabbed the Cone of Shame that I had ready and popped it over her head. I don’t bother with attaching it to a collar, as I have found it works very well this way.
The poor dog just sat absolutely motionless and stared at me.
I had expected her to instantly try to get rid of the cone, but she just sat still.
Then I heard her making a funny gurgling sound as she breathed.
I went over to check and realised that the cone was too tight!
LM has a tiny head, but quite a large neck and the Cone of Shame was as I had used it for TJ, who had a bigger head than LM, but obviously a smaller neck.
Poor LM! I dragged the cone off immediately. She didn’t try to scratch again!
And here she is. All healed up nicely and ready to dash around like a maniac again.
Lipoma = A benign tumour of fatty tissue
Adenoma = A benign tumour formed from glandular structures in epithelial tissue
Seroma = A pocket of clear serous fluid
Or you can just do as I do and call them lumpies!